Safestyle UK plc (LON:SFE), the leading retailer and manufacturer of PVCu replacement windows and doors to the UK homeowner market, has issued a trading and operations update in advance of its preliminary results announcement for the year ended 31 December 2020 on 25 March 2021.
Following the Trading Update issued on 17 December 2020, the Group confirms that it expects FY 2020 revenue to be over £113m, with H2 2020 revenue up 15% year on year. The underlying loss before taxation for the full year is expected to be approximately £(4.7)m, the loss being fully attributable to the cessation of operations during the first national lockdown in H1. The Group returned to profit for H2 in line with expectations. Finally, the closing net cash position is expected to be approximately £7.6m at year-end.
In early January, in response to the current national lockdown and in conjunction with guidance provided by the industry body, the Glass and Glazing Federation (the ‘GGF’), the Group temporarily ceased in-home selling and door canvass operations. After close consultation with Government, the GGF further updated its guidance at the end of January and as a result, the Group has restarted in-home selling in February. Given the context of the lockdown, Door Canvass operations remain temporarily halted.
The Group maintained remote sales appointments through January, leveraging the investment in technology and training made through 2020. Going into the new year, management actions and investment had resulted in an order book that was over 80% higher than 2019’s closing position. Whilst the Group continues to make use of the healthy order book built during H2 2020, the interruption of in-home sales at the start of the new financial year has had some impact on further order intake momentum. But critically, using strict and effective COVID-safe policies, the Group has been able to maintain healthy revenue levels thus far in 2021 as its manufacturing and installation operations continue.
The restart of in-home selling in February presents an opportunity for the Group to regain the strong order intake momentum established in H2 2020. The business is optimistic that Door Canvass operations will be allowed to restart during Q2 2021 as the UK moves out of the current lockdown.
Given the Group’s strong order book and installation pipeline, the Board expects to make good progress in 2021.